We’re revitalizing Crane Park as a part of the Guelph Trail Master Plan’s vision to improve existing trails.
The park is a sensitive natural area for many species of fish and wildlife. In August 2018, an Environmental Impact Study was completed to understand where trail improvements could be made. The study revealed that work needed to be done to enhance Crane Park’s health and integrity by removing and controlling invasive buckthorn.
Phase one: Natural area rehabilitation
During phase one, the City removed invasive buckthorn to prepare for trail construction. Following the construction, the City will restore the natural area by planting native trees, shrubs and wildflowers in 2020.
Phase two: Trail construction
Phase two will involve construction and widening of the trail and creating water crossings. Construction will be completed in two chunks:
Phase 2A: Regrading the parking lot and construction of the trail from College Avenue and Stone Road West to the Speed River (2019)
Phase 2B: Construction of the trail from Dovercliffe Road to the main trail (2019-2020)
Frequently asked questions
What work is still underway?
We’re currently in phase two of the project which involves widening sections the trail to 2.5-3.0 metres, resurfacing with stone dust and grading to improve accessibility, water drainage and reduce erosion.
The benefits of this work to Crane Park are:
- Improved safety and accessibility
- Less maintenance
- Reduction of erosion and sediment entering the Speed River
We will enhance the area after construction by planting native species as a part of our restoration efforts.
Why are we removing buckthorn from Crane Park?
Buckthorn is a shrub that threatens the ecological integrity of Crane Park’s natural areas. Buckthorn is an invasive species that is not native to Ontario and spreads rapidly unless controlled. Buckthorn crowds out and shades native species, disrupting the balance of other plant species that wildlife need to continue to thrive.
How are you removing the buckthorn?
We will use both machinery and herbicide to remove buckthorn from Crane Park.
Why is herbicide being used in this project?
Buckthorn in Crane Park cannot be managed by mechanical methods alone. We believe there are benefits to the natural area in using herbicide that include:
- Less disruption to the surrounding plants and wildlife that machinery would cause
- A better chance of preventing the buckthorn from returning, which in turn lessens the chance of disturbing the area with further removals
What type of herbicide is being used to remove Buckthorn and how will it be applied?
GarlonTM RTU will be used to control the buckthorn. This product is registered for use in Canada and has been tested to ensure minimal risks to human health and the environment.
Licensed applicators will dab GarlonTM directly onto the cut stems of the buckthorn. Spraying will not be used to apply the herbicide. Using a direct application means we will use less and protect surrounding plants.
For more information on GarlonTM visit the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s (PMRA) website or download their app, Pesticide Labels, for on the go information.
Where can I find more information about pesticides?
The province of Ontario oversees the sale, storage, use, transportation and disposal of pesticides which are regulated nationally under the federal Pest Control Products Act.
Is it safe to be in the area while herbicides are being applied?
GarlonTM has low exposure risk to people and animals, however, the treatment zone will be closed to pedestrians during application. Please avoid entering the treatment area until the treated vegetation has dried and herbicide signs are taken down.
What happens after the area has been treated?
GarlonTM will be absorbed in to the Buckthorn after treatment where it will break down and degrade.
Why are you using herbicides on this project but I can’t use pesticides on the dandelions on my lawn?
There are some exemptions available to municipalities under the Pesticide Act that allow for the use of pesticides, including our work with forestry.
The use of pesticides in forestry is essential in some cases to protect trees from invasive species and promote the establishment and maintenance of a forest. We assess the need for pesticides on a case-by-case basis. Pesticides are never used for cosmetic reasons.
For more information
Dave Beaton, Program Manager, Trails and Natural Areas
Parks Operations and Forestry, Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2761